Some would think that allowing theme parks like Disney World to be open during the time of a lingering pandemic might be irresponsible. Though given the extensive restrictions and protocols present that allow the mostly open air experience to be a controlled affair, safety and fun have been able to mingle together in the happiest place on earth. But as always, there’s some guests who feel they’re above following the rules-- which has led to physical confrontations, and in some cases, arrests.
The Orlando Sentinel has covered Disney World’s actions in the name of the collective safety for all that choose to visit. Through speaking with both members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, as well as the workforce of Disney World, the picture of such assaults has been painted pretty clearly. For instance, here’s the first part of an account told by a Disney Springs parking employee, who came into contact with such guests:
There’s never a day when I don’t have a story. I cried the first week I started. It was not a good time at all. Imagine going to work every single day where people ridicule you.
Some of the stories that Disney World employees have to claim after such confrontations are quite upsetting. One guest, after being told to put wear a mask by a security guard, spit on said park worker after proclaiming, “I’m a guest.” Another story saw a rowdy park goer pushing fellow guests, removing his mask, and throwing his phone Starbucks employee; all in an intoxicated state. Needless to say, that was one of the cases where an arrest was made, and that guest later plead not guilty.
Working at a crowded theme park in the before times was probably stressful enough, especially when that park happens to be one of the many Disney attractions that operate on a worldwide basis. But for the most part, the safety precautions that Disney World, and its sibling parks, have put into place are followed. Even with the best intentions, and crowd cutting measures like park reservations in play, there’s still the issue of masks in the park.
Mask wearing is a must for all guests at Disney World, even those that have been vaccinated. It’s a policy that, predictably, has led to thoughts being shared by those on either side of the fence. And that leads us to the next part of the story told by that very same Disney Springs parking employee, as some of those thoughts have been shared rather forcefully by guests present:
I’ve had a guest literally get right up in my face and literally curse me out. If I honestly didn’t have good coworkers, I would have already quit by now.
Differences of opinion are always going to be present when it comes to how people enjoy their theme park experience. While the severity of those disagreements is always going to be a variable, one should hope that physical confrontations, spitting, and other abhorrent behavior are only outliers in those scenarios. So if you’re thinking of visiting Disney World, or any other theme park at this time, make sure you follow the restrictions posted at your chosen venue. Also, give the park employees some slack, as everyone’s just trying to have as magical a day as they can.